If you have kids at home, you may be tempted to skip this post all together. After all, your schedule is probably booked solid for days with appointments and meetings! We all know that we need to take time for ourselves, but who has time to actually do it?
What I have found over the years is that taking time for yourself really is non-negotiable. If I don’t take time to replenish myself, I always end up crashing and burning somewhere down the road.
Here are my 3 favorite tips for carving out time for myself:
- Do it first thing: Finding time for yourself only gets harder as the day goes on and you get drawn into appointments. Taking time for yourself first thing every day will guarantee that it doesn’t get pushed aside in favor of “something more important” later in the day. Doing something for yourself at the beginning of your day will also give you a much-needed energy boost, making it easier to take care of others.
- Know that even 10 minutes makes a difference: Yes, it would be nice to have 2 hours a day to yourself to do whatever you want. For most of us, that isn’t reality though. The good news is that even 10 minutes a day can make a difference. 10 minutes spent reading a book that inspires you, writing in your gratitude journal, talking to a good friend…whatever makes you happy. Doing it for even just a short period of time each day can brighten your world and renew your energy. The key is to recognize the sole reason you do it…to make yourself happy.
- Make it a habit: Trying to fit something into an already over-booked schedule never seems to happen. So make it a habit and something that is always there. For me, I exercise on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It’s written into my schedule as well as into Gary’s. This way I don’t have to think about whether or not I have time to do it or ask Gary if he can be home with the boys. I know that, once the alarm goes off, it’s my time and off I go.
Make a list of 5 things that you like to do, things that make you happy. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to doing one of those things for the next week and see how you feel. You may find yourself with a bit more energy and you will also find that it feels good to be doing things you have wanted to do but have been putting off for forever.